Questions?

Check our FAQs for the quickest support.

FAQ

Did not find your answer?
Contact us

Dutch pronunciation

Our teachers

Looking for a language tutor? Contact one of our teachers!

Find a teacher

Some letters, vowels and combinations of them are pronounced very different in Dutch and hard to compare to other languages. Below you will find an explanation on how to pronounce them and examples.  

Pronunciation of Dutch vowels 

The pronunciation of Dutch vowels depends on if it is an open or closed syllable. It is a closed syllable when it is between two consonants. An open syllable is when it is not. 

  • 'De rat' (The rat) → closed syllable, short vowel
  • 'De aap' (The monkey) → open syllable, long vowel

The Dutch language also contains combinations of vowels, which are pronounced differently than the syllables on their own. 

CombinationPronunciation ExampleTranslation
'ee'Pronounced as 'e', but longer.  Zij eten veel kaas. They eat a lot of cheese. 
'oe'Pronounced as 'oo'  in 'boot'. Ik heb een leuke groep. I have a nice group. 
'eu' Pronounced as 'ur' in 'hurt' with rounded lips.De leuke jeugd. The nice youth. 
'ei/ij' Pronounced as a combination of 'eh' and 'ee'.  Hij is erg blij. He is very happy. 
'uu' Pronounced as as the short 'u', but longer.  Zij betalen huur. They pay rent. 
'ui' Pronounced as a short 'a' followed by a 'u'.  De ui laat mij huilen.The onion makes me cry. 
'uw'

Pronounced as the short 'u', but the tongue and lips have to be moved more to the front. 

After that a 'w 'has to be added.  

Uw dochter gaf mij een duw. Your (formal) daughter pushed me. 
'ou' Pronounced similar to the 'ou' in pronounced.Ik zeg dat ik van je hou.  I am telling you that I love you.  
'aa' Pronounced as the short 'a', but longer.  Ze heeft blond haar.  She has blonde hair.  
'au' Pronounced as ow in 'how'.  Het vlees is rauw. The meat is raw. 
'aai' Pronounced as the English pronoun 'I'.  De haai zwemt in de baai. The shark swims in bay. 
'eeuw' Pronounced as a long 'e' and followed by 'uw'. Ik schreeuw de longen uit mijn lijf. I scream from the top of my longs. 
'oo' Pronounced as the 'o' in hope, but longer.  Hij heeft hoop.  He has hope.  
'ooi' Pronounced as a long 'o' and followed by an 'i'.  De vogel vliegt uit de kooi. The bird flies out of the cage.  
'oei' Pronounced as a combination of 'oe' and 'ie'.  In de zee drijft een boei. A buoy is floating in the sea. 
'ie' Pronounced as the 'e' in the English personal pronoun 'we'.  Hij zei dat niet.  He did not say that.
'ieuw'Pronounced as a combination of 'ie' and 'uw'.  Vissen hebben kieuwen.  Fish have gills.  

enlightenedListen to the audio text to hear the correct pronunciation. 

Pronunciation of combined Dutch consonants 

The combination of some consonants are pronounced differently than when they are on there own.

CombinationPronunciationExampleTranslation
'c'
  • Pronounced as 's'.   
  • Pronounced as 'k'.  
  • Hij tekent een cirkel.  
  • Hij is een clown.  
  • He draws a circle.  
  • He is a clown.  
'ch' 
  • Pronounced like the 'g' in Dutch. 
  • Can be pronounced as 'sh' sound in English, when it is at the beginning of the word. 
  • We hebben gelachen om zijn grap. 
  • De champagne is duur. 
  • We laughed at his joke. 
  • The champagne is expensive. 
 'ck'

Pronounced like the 'k'. 

Diederick speelt hockey.  Diederick plays hockey. 
'ng'Pronounced like the 'ng' in the word 'long' in English. De lange kring van slingers werd verbroken.  The long circle of garlands was broken.  
'nj'Pronounced like the 'ni' in the English word 'onion'. Het oranje team gaat naar Spanje.  The orange team goes to Spain. 
'sch'
  • Pronounced like the combination 's' and 'g' in dutch.  
  • Can be pronounced as 's' when it is at the end of the word.  
  • De groep heeft de schatkist gevonden. 
  • Het was een fantastisch leuk spel.  
  • The group found the treasure chest.  
  • It was an incredibly nice game.  
'sj'Pronounced as the 'sh' sound in English. 

Sjoerd sjoemelde met de winstcijfers. 

Sjoerd defrauded the profit figures.  
'tj'Pronounced as the 'ch' sound in English.  Het hutje was natgeregend. The cabin was wet, because of the rain. 

enlightenedListen to the audio text to hear the correct pronunciation. 

enlightenedThe consonant 'c' is pronounced as 'k' after the a, o, u, l or r. After e, i or ij the 'c' is pronounced as 's'.  


Exercises

  1. Exercise Dutch pronunciation 1
  2. Exercise Dutch pronunciation 2

Exercise Dutch pronunciation 1


Exercise Dutch pronunciation 2


What our students say

Unlike in other platforms, all our teachers are manually verified by our professional team. Trust in the experiences of our students.
4.94/5

Learn to communicate in Dutch from the first lesson! Enjoyable classes with teaching materials tailored to your needs. First 30 min. class for free. My name is Karin and I'm from Holland, but I live on the Canary Islands. I love teaching DUTCH and have done so for more than 20 years. I have a Diploma in English Philology. I also have two methodology degrees: the CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults of the University of Cambridge) and the FCTBE (Foundation Certificate for Teachers of Business English of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
I have taught at a Business School and ten companies. In the last two years I've mainly been giving private lessons and I've developed a variety of online self-study DUTCH courses. My schedule is flexible and I adapt myself to the needs and interests of my students so that they reach their objectives in the shortest possible time.
Enjoyable classes, with teaching materials tailored to your needs.
How do the classes work? A class lasts 45 minutes. I'll send you the materials we are going to use in class beforehand so you can print them. After the class I'll send you audios of the notes we made, vocabulary etc. My speciality is communication, from beginner level to advanced. So, you will speak some Dutch in the first class already! Why wait any longer? Let's get started! :-)

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5
I had my first lesson a couple of days ago and everything went super good! Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had. She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day. I really recommend her to everyone willing to learn a new language :)
Karin  L. Karin L.
Hi Alba! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I enjoyed our class too & I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects :-)

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

Hello
My name is Anco Peeters,. I am born in The Netherlands and a native speaker of the Dutch language..
I started my career as a schoolteacher and as a gymnastic instructor.
Later I started working in the ICT sector. Now I am a freelance instructor and consultant who teaches mainly networking and telephony.
I am also an NLP Practitioner

My hobbies are: Yoga, traveling, fitness, walking, meeting people

I would love to teach the Dutch language in an informal way with the accent on learning to speak the language. Grammar is also important. We can talk about any topic. I would like to help you making progress and have a lot of experience in creating an individual plan for every student based on your needs

Would love to see you for a trial lesson

Kind regards
Anco

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.89/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

4.89/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.96/5
Enthousiast and engaged teacher. Plans a lesson around your needs and focuses on details specific to you. Finds helpful material for the lessons but also for the time between. Easy to talk to and can be reached easily too.
Anco P. Anco P.
Hi Mia, thank you for this feedback. We will continue in this way until you are ready for your exam!
Translated by Google Translate

Review

Teaching methodology

4/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.8/5

Hi! I've been teaching Dutch, Spanish and Italian for many years, in The Netherlands, for private institutes, for the integration of foreigners into society, and online from Italy, where I currently live.

I will help you, in a simple but effective way, to learn your favorite language(s). By focusing on conversation from the very beginning, I will help you in becoming confident with the language so that you will learn it faster.

Learning a foreign language is not a matter of doing much effort, but rather of being consistent, enjoying the lessons and allowing your intuition to work with you. You will book immediate results while having fun!

I offer you general language courses Italian (A1-C2), Dutch (A1-C1) and Spanish (A1-C1), as well as courses "Basisinburgering" "Inburgeringsexamen A1 and A2".

For English I offer ONLY pronunciation exercises. If you struggle with your pronunciation and you want to become more confident, I can help you achieve your goal. We will practice by reading texts together and you will see amazing results in a very short time.

So if you want to learn a language or improve the one you already speak, whether it is for work, to move abroad or just because you love languages, contact me for a free trial and let me know how I can help you.

I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.87/5

Communication

4.98/5

Punctuality

4.99/5

Internet connection

4.95/5

Learning materials

4.86/5
4.93/5
Good teaching method, it adapts to your learning needs, very good, good interaction with the student. I thought I could never learn this language but thanks to Elena I saw my progress.
Translated by Google Translate
Elena P. Elena P. IT
Thank you so much for your words, Maribel! I am happy to feel satisfied with our journey together. So am I. Together we will be able to make even more progress until your goals are fully achieved.
Translated by Google Translate

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

Hi there!

I’m Feby, I’m originally from Belgium and I recently graduated in International Business Management. Over the last couple of years, I have been living in Finland (Tampere) and Canada (Toronto) but currently, I’m staying in Mexico where I teach at a language school. My biggest passion is traveling (and chocolate). My native language is Dutch but I’m fluent in English and French too. I’m also able to communicate in Spanish and German.

I do believe practice is the key aspect of learning and maintaining a language. So if you are looking for somebody to help you with your conversational skills (speaking and listening), I might be your person!

Hope to talk to you soon!

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

4.67/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.93/5
Feby quickly understood what it was essentially necessary to work to improve my Dutch. Very attentive, very kind and without ever judging the level, it allows you to feel comfortable in a language that we are trying to learn. Very good didactic follow-up also after the course. Thanks to Feby I highly recommend
Translated by Google Translate
Feby D. Feby D. BE
Thank you very much for your positive review, David! You are a very pleasant and motivated person to teach.
Translated by Google Translate

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

4/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.8/5

Hi there

My name is Lieneke Jansen and I am 51 years old.

I am from a small country in Europe called the Netherlands

I am a TEFL certified English teacher with experience in teaching both children and adults.

Although I am a non-native speaker, I have learned English since high school, and practicing it on a daily basis from then on

I  have over 30 years of working experience in several international companies on a high professional work and think level.

I’m specialised in business conversation and practicing speaking skills on every possible level

Looking forward to meet you as my student.

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5
Today was getting to know each other. That was great. Lieneke speaks very clearly, I could understand everything. As desired, she corrected my word and grammatical errors, let me speak, and then carefully added the corrections. I'm looking forward to the next hour.
Translated by Google Translate
Lieneke J. Lieneke J.
Thank you for your kind review Astrid. I hope we will have many fun and educational lessons together.
Translated by Google Translate

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

As non-native parents it is certainly not easy to teach your children Dutch or to help with the fluency of the new language. Who wants some extra exercise for his children? I can help you with that. As their vocabulary becomes more and more extensive and their sentences become increasingly fluid, your children will get more and more self-confident. To speak well the Dutch language will surely benefit them now and later.
Do your children need some help with their homework, especially with their Dutch, then I can help with that.
Even as non-native-speaking adults, it is sometimes difficult to have enough exercise. That is why also adults who want to make progress in speaking the Dutch language are welcome here! We can practice the everyday language together.

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.79/5

Communication

4.93/5

Punctuality

4.89/5

Internet connection

4.95/5

Learning materials

4.94/5
4.9/5
I'm a Liesbet's student for almost a year now and I must say that I've been making progress each week since the first lesson. The teaching methodology and materiels are diversified enough to cover every aspects of learning a second language. I really appreciate to work with an organized teacher who gives well-prepared lessons. Thank you Liesbet.
Liesbet L. Liesbet L. BE

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

-

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.64/5

Communication

4.91/5

Punctuality

4.99/5

Internet connection

4.82/5

Learning materials

4.69/5
4.82/5
I really enjoyed this lesson! Carina answered some questions I had and helped me in practicing talking. I found it extremely useful.
F S. F S. AZ

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

Hi!
My name is Mariëlle and I am 22 years old. I live in Aruba. I graduated last year from the ITEPS course at the NHL Stenden Unitversity of Applied Sciences in Meppel. ITEPS stands for: International Teacher Education for Primary Schools. I followed the combined course where I was educated to become a teacher for both Dutch schools and international schools. During my studies, I have had a lot of practice teaching the Dutch and English language, since I had to do a lot of teaching practices at Dutch national schools and International schools all around the world.
At the moment, I work at a local school in Aruba. The instructional language is Dutch, but for almost all of my students Dutch is not their first language. This has resulted in me having experience with teaching Dutch as a second language.

My availability is subject to change, so if you would like to know my accurate availability, please send me a message.

We can start off with a free trial class in which we will get to know each other and where we can talk about what you want to learn. After our trial class we could start right away and I can help you achieve your language learning goals.
I am really looking forward to helping you learn a new language or helping you improve your language skills!
I hope to see you soon,
Mariëlle

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5
Marielle is great - very nice to chat and learn from, and she works with you at your level to find and explain things you should be doing or practising. I like the googledocs way of working, and find the level perfect. She is also flexible on times to do the lessons which for me is great as I have a family.
Mariëlle S. Mariëlle S. NL

Review

Teaching methodology

4/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.8/5

Hi! I live in Germany since 2014, I live in the Frankfurt am Main area. I teach German to refugees since the beginning of 2017 and I have been teaching Dutch at several language schools, at peoples homes and in-house at several companies. I passed the C1-level Test for German at the Goethe Institut. 

It is my goal to adapt my lessons as much as possible to the wishes of the student. This means that, besides offering regular learning methods, I am open to initiatives like talking about subjects that are of interest to the student, for example reading and discussing articles, watching and discussing educational videos and/or current happenings in the world. 

I look forward to meeting you online!

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.91/5

Communication

4.91/5

Punctuality

4.93/5

Internet connection

4.82/5

Learning materials

4.91/5
4.9/5
I've learnt so much from Marlijn! She is a great teacher that adapts the lessons to the student's needs and is available to provide additional material and correct homeworks also outside the lecture. Her friendly personality made me very comfortable and able to learn in a relaxed environment. Communication was great. I strongly recommend her!
Marlijn S. Marlijn S. NL

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

Hello,

I'm offering informal Dutch and English lessons based on conversation and will conduct my lessons for as much as possible in the target language.

I use text, weblinks to tv shows to get us talking and am a fan of the TPRS method.
There's a lot of information on that method online. Basically it's getting to know the structure Dutch and English through simple conversation. (questions about 1 or several sentences on any topic)

I have some useful weblinks to tv shows in Dutch (with subtitles in Dutch) adjusted to your level and the shows are entertaining too. :-)
We can discuss the shows preferably in the target language of course.

I can explain some grammar too if needed and have articles and books ready to read from. This again will be adjusted to your proficiency. But of course if you'd like to focus on a topic which has your interest that is possible as well. This makes it more personal and more fun.

I've been teaching for about a year now on another platform to students from all over the world and really enjoy having the experience again as I used to be a vocal coach back in the days when I attended conservatory in the Netherlands.

I hope to see you here on Co language. :-)

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.79/5

Communication

4.8/5

Punctuality

4.95/5

Internet connection

4.76/5

Learning materials

4.79/5
4.82/5
Less is knowledgeable about teaching. He was positive and encouraging. During the lessons we followed a good routine. Reading aloud and accent corrections. Then review of homework followed by a TPRS exercise. He was always well prepared and punctual. I highly recommend him.
Less J. Less J.

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

4/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.8/5

Hello, my name is Michel and I'm a Dutch primary school teacher. I arrived in France in 2013 and since then I worked for an international school that is well known all over France. Teaching children and adults is my passion.

My courses are adapted to your level and due to my job and experience I have acces to teaching methodes to learn you the basics of the Dutch language or to improve your level. I can help you to improve your level of writing and speaking or help you learn your first words and phrases.

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5
Michel / Johannes is really nice, he adapted to my needs and understood my type of learning. Result: really targeted courses that allow me to make rapid progress.
Translated by Google Translate
Johannes Gerhardus B. Johannes Gerhardus B.

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

My name is Brenda and I am born in the Netherlands. At the moment I live in Nijmegen, the oldest city of the Netherlands. A lot of foreign students live here because it is a university city.

I have been interested in languages from an early age. That is why I have learned English, German, French and Spanish. But in my area I am mainly known for my excellent Dutch language skills and my eye for spelling and grammar.

Other things that interest me are cooking and baking and being creative. As a volunteer I have given guided tours and I have done workshops in both English and Dutch. I also love walking in nature or enjoying the beach and the sea!

I am currently learning Turkish, so I fully understand what you are experiencing as a language student. That’s why I am very patient. We practice as much as what you need. Is there something you don’t understand? Feel free to ask again, then we can approach the material in a different way so that it is clear for you.

I also know from experience how great it feels when you can communicate with someone in the local language! So let's go for this challenge together!

Your needs and progress as a student are central.

Please indicate before the first lesson what you would like to work on so that I can prepare myself for the lesson. A number of options are:
- Preparation for the integration course (inburgeringscursus)
Speaking, listening, reading and writing. Cultural and work-related topics.
- Beginners - Advanced (Personalized Lessons) Dutch
We can focus on every aspect of the language. When you want to learn from a book we can use your material or I will advise you which book you can purchase.
As a beginner you start with the basics, the alphabet and some basic words. We extend this so that you can start simple conversations in situations of everyday life and that you become an advanced!

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5
I have been working with Brenda now for two months, 1-2 times per week and it has been great! She is always so helpful and patient and attentive to my particular needs and learning style. She is always on-time and very quick to reply in between lessons. She is interesting to talk to and has always made me feel very comfortable in making mistakes and trying difficult new things. Highly recommend!
Brenda B. Brenda B.

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

Hello,I would love to help you improve your knowledge of English.I adapt the lessons following your wishes : are you a beginner and need to get some basic knowledge with grammar and easy texts or do you want to improve your conversation skills. I can help you either way.Looking forward to meeting you !

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.86/5

Communication

4.98/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

4.92/5

Learning materials

4.97/5
4.95/5
We spoke in Dutch for most of the lesson which was ideal for me. Francoise was very patient and helpful.
Francoise D. Francoise D.

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

It took me a long time to find my real passion in my (work) life. After studying in two universities, graduating in two bachelors, travelling the world and working abroad for several years I realized public education is where my heart lies. I went for the third time back to the university to get my teachers degree.

I have been a classroom teacher for 5 years in Dutch primary schools before I moved 4,5 years ago abroad to Colombia where I became specifically an English teacher. I am specialized in teaching in pre-, elementary, middle (secondary) and high school. I have been teaching in all different grades and all primary subjects in English and got specialised in Teaching English as a second language. Most schools where I have been working were inspired by the philosophy of 'Vygotsky'. 
A philosophy and methodology I also use in my private classes. Therefore they are dynamic and adapted to your personal needs.

Working in the Netherlands and Colombia in education and in several countries worldwide have allowed me to gain a variety of skill sets. These experiences also have provided me with the tools necessary for working abroad and online including adaptability, patience, dedication to my peer’s success, and respect for cultural and societal norms. Learning English as a second language from someone that is trained to teach the language like this and also once has learned the language herself as a second language (as my native language is Dutch), gives me a lot of benefits in comparison of learning the language from a native speaker.

Aside from this being my day to day job already for the past 10 years in Bilingual primary, middle and high schools, I started private classes to teach English as a second language in the afternoons. I am new to this platform as I haven't offered my services in the past through an official platform. With the recent changes worldwide I thought it is a good moment to focus more on online teaching and decided to dedicate all my time at the moment on online teaching. Therefore I have a wide availability Let me know which level you have and if there's anything specific you would like to focus on. I have experience in teaching all facets of the language.

Reviews

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5
We found our first Dutch class with Lisa really helpful. She is very patient and made the class enjoyable. Looking forward to getting started :)
Lisa C. Lisa C. NL

Review

Teaching methodology

5/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

5/5

Learning materials

5/5
5/5

Hello!
My name is Guus Weltings. I am 22 years old and I am currently living on Aruba. Currently I'm speaking two languages (Dutch and English), and learning two others (Spanish and German), so I am very familiar with the process!
Dutch can be used in more countries than you think! It is an official language in Aruba, Brussels, Curaçao, Flanders, Sint Maarten and Suriname. The Dutch culture is very diverse and full of foreign influences. I can help you learn all you want about our country and culture, and have fun doing so! Of course, if you just want to practice your Dutch by having conversations I can help you as well.
We can start off with a free trial class in which we will get to know each other and make a planning for the topics that you want to learn. After our trial class we could start right away with your first class!
I hope to see you soon! Tot snel!
Guus

Reviews

Teaching methodology

4.94/5

Communication

4.94/5

Punctuality

4.98/5

Internet connection

4.92/5

Learning materials

4.96/5
4.95/5
Guus is a very comprehensive and polite teacher who helps me to improve my difficulties to learn dutch. He gives me good orientations about how to get rid of my barriers.
Guus W. Guus W. NL

Review

Teaching methodology

4/5

Communication

5/5

Punctuality

5/5

Internet connection

4/5

Learning materials

5/5
4.6/5